FanPost

For Rent: Veteran Guard Options for the Chiefs

Six is not a lot of draft picks.

Especially when your team loses 5 starters in free agency. Between depth guys like A.J. Jenkins and Sanders Commings who could challenge for a starting spot and John Dorsey's own "value" free agent acquisitions like Vance Walker and Joe Mays some roster holes look less dire than others. After free safety, my biggest area of roster concern is the interior of the offensive line.


Current Chiefs Guards

Jeff Allen: A Problem With 2 First Names

After two seasons I'm not sold on Jeff Allen at all. He gave 5 sacks and 32 QB pressures in 2013 and earned negative grades from Pro Football Focus in both run blocking (-10.6) and pass blocking (-6.5 ). He needs to get better, immediately.

Rokevious Watkins: Finally Scared Straight Slim?

The Rok was named 1st Team All-SEC his senior year at South Carolina in 2011 and got selected in the 5th round of the 2012 Draft by the St. Louis Rams. Things got off the rails quickly. As a rookie, Watkins reported to camp overweight and out of shape and was held out of the first several days of practice. He played in one game in 2012, the season opener in Detroit, before being put in injured reserve. The Rams cut Watkins in July of 2013 when he reported to training camp overweight for the second consecutive season. He's got the talent to compete for a starting job, but he's just as likely to eat himself out of the league. So please, when Rok is around... Don't. Mention. Barbecue.

Rishaw Johnson: A True Underdog Story

After his high school was submerged by Hurricane Katrina, this hard-knock kid from New Orleans found himself in a different kind of hot water when he got kicked off the Ole Miss football team for alleged credit-card fraud. He finished his collegiate career at California University in Pennsylvania (which is hard to find even with a GPS) and was named D-II All-American. In 2012 he went undrafted (small school + character concerns will do that to you) but made Seattle's practice squad and even got promoted to their active roster late in the 2012-2013 season. Dorsey swooped in an acquired Rishaw on "Red Sunday." It's possible he could take the next step in his development this season but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. You can read more on Rishaw Johnson in this excellent Fan Post.

Guard Prospects in the 2014 Draft

The 2014 Draft isn't nearly as deep at the guard position as 2013 was. What hurts even more is that the Chiefs likely aren't in a good position to draft one.

#34 Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA (Round 1-2)

#46 David Yankey, Stanford (Round 2)

#60 Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State (Round 2-3)

#61 Cyril Richardson, Baylor (Round 2-3)

#94 Anthony Steen, Alabama (Round 4)

#101 Trai Turner, LSU (Round 4)

Xavier Su'a-Filo would be a safe pick at #23 but there's probably a playmaker there at a position of need: Calvin Pryor or a WR. So I couldn't see Su'a-Filo in a Chiefs uniform unless we traded back. Yankey, Jackson and Richardson are likely all off the board by time the Chiefs pick again at #87.

Steen was a pretty good RG at Alabama but most scouts project him to be a better fit for a zone-blocking team. I'd rather use the 3rd round pick on a free safety, WR, or a developmental pass rusher to replace Tamba Hali. Boise State's Demarcus Lawrence might still be there, Louisville's Marcus Smith and Kareem Martin will most likely be available as well.

Guard prospect Trai Turner from LSU is an intriguing mauler, but he's worlds away from the best player available at the end of the 3rd round and might still be on the board when we pick again in the 4th.

Veteran Guards From the Scrap Heap

The NFL is a tough business. But every year there's a player or two that get written off by 31 teams due to age, injury or some other issue. But the one GM that took a chance on them ends up looking like a genius when they perform well on the field for the league minimum salary or close to it. Geoff Schwartz was that guy for Kansas City last year (don't we all wish there was a second-year option on that deal). If the Draft doesn't produce any Guards for the Chiefs, I think there will still be a few wily old vets with a year or two of starter-quality football left in the tank.

Daryn Colledge, LG (cut by Arizona)

When the Cardinals decided to pay Colledge some big bucks before the 2011 season, it was because he was capable of full-scale domination. In a 2012 game against the Rams he put up Pro Football Focus' 5th highest score for guard of all time. Colledge was always a spectacular athlete. With his advancing age (32) Colledge has probably declined to the point of being physically similar to the league-average guard. He was a victim of cap management. Arizona had the worst offensive line in the NFL last year. Colledge was like paying Lexus money to start a Toyota next to 4 rusted out Kias.

Uche Nwaneri, RG (cut by Jacksonville)

I have no idea why the Jaguars cut Nwaneri. Sure, he was a bit overpaid, but he was also the only bright spot on an abysmal offensive line. Pro Football Focus graded him out to almost completely average (-0.3 combined score) in 2013. Nwaneri just turned 30 a few weeks ago, has no injury problems and played every single offensive snap for the Jacksonville in the 2013-2014 season. I'm kinda surprised he didn't get picked up already.

Harvey Dahl, RG (cut by St. Louis)

At 32 years-old Dahl is no spring chicken. A nasty MCL injury cut short his 2013 campaign after just 9 games. After being nicked-up and missing two games in the 2012 season, I can see how the Rams didn't want to pay the 3 million dollar roster bonus that Dahl would have been due at the end of March. Once healthy, he'll find a roster spot somewhere. Slightly-below average (-1.1 PFF grade) in pass protection, Dahl has reputation in the league as a nasty run blocker, although his (+1.6 grade) doesn't necessarily reflect that.

I don't expect to see any movement until after the Draft, but keep on eye on these names as the second wave of free agency starts. I think the Chiefs could do a lot worse than renting one of these guys to start at guard for a year or two.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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